We Can Help You Find the Best Low Rolling Resistance Tire for Your Car

Tuesday, March 27, 2012 by Doc Horvath

As gas prices go up, consumers are looking for ways to stretch every dollar and gallon of fuel. Everyone from hybrid car owners like the Toyota Prius and Honda Civic Hybrid, to larger trucks and SUVs, such as the Chevrolet Tahoe and Ford F-150 are very interested in low rolling resistance tires. 
 

Last summer, Tire Rack tested three eco-focused tires that advertise better fuel economy and all-season capability: the Bridgestone Ecopia EP422, Continental ProContact with EcoPlus Technology, and Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max against a typical passenger car tire, the Yokohama AVID TRZ.  Our testing program includes both dry and wet surface testing on our dedicated test track and a 6.6-mile loop of expressway, state highway and county roads that have a good mix of road conditions that include city and highway speeds, smooth and coarse concrete, as well as new and patched asphalt. Our newest addition to the testing program is an automotive computer tied into the vehicle's electronics that allow us to measure fuel consumption and true distance traveled.
 

During our Real World Road Ride test, the Continental and Bridgestone tires rated best for comfort and low road noise, while the Continental proved to be top-rated in handling, braking and cornering traction. Our computers added a new dimension to the testing by showing the Bridgestone (followed by the Goodyear) as having the best fuel efficiency. 
 

At the end of the test, all four tires proved to be capable and quiet, with the Continental coming out on top by a slim margin over the Yokohama. As always, there are compromises for any model, so be sure to see if small gains in traction or comfort can be offset with improvements in fuel efficiency. For a full test report, review "Eco-Focused All-Season Tires: Do They Deliver on the Promise?"

Comments on We Can Help You Find the Best Low Rolling Resistance Tire for Your Car

Monday, May 6, 2013 by Rudy Stefenel:
Need 2 tires, low rolling resistance 2004 Honda Civic Hybrid P185/70 R14
Tuesday, May 7, 2013 by Doc:
Rudy,
For best results we'd recommend switching out all four tires. In your size, you best option is the Michelin Defender.
Monday, May 13, 2013 by AliceK:
need 4 LRR tire for my 2007 Prius. suggestions?
Monday, May 13, 2013 by doc:
Alice,
Based on our testing, I'd recommend either the Michelin Energy Saver AS or the Continental Pro Contact with EcoPlus technology.
Sunday, June 16, 2013 by Pat:
Need new tires for 2005 Prius that can survive 6 miles round trip on bumpy dirt roads in the Mohave Desert (summer temps 100 degrees plus). Would LRR tires survive or are some brands better than others?
thanks.
Monday, June 24, 2013 by doc:
Pat,
Based on manufacturers' data, we would not expect LRR tires to have any less temperature sensitivity than a "standard" rubber compound tire (regardless of brand). While we do not have any test results of our own, traditionally we have found that the premium brand tires (Michelin, Bridgestone, Goodyear etc)receive more positive reviews for durability than lesser expensive brands. Given the extreme conditions you describe, we could not promote one tire over another in terms of durability. Sorry that we did not have more specific information !
Monday, July 8, 2013 by Karen:
Which LRR tire would you recommend for a 2009 Honda CRV (225/65R17)?
Monday, July 15, 2013 by doc:
Karen,
I'd have you consider the Michelin Energy Saver AS or the Continental Pro Contact with EcoPlus technology in your tire size.
Sunday, July 21, 2013 by Cody:
I have a 2013 F-150, and I intend on putting larger diameter tires on it in the near future. The current tires are P275/55/R20's. I intend to go with 35" tires which is the largest I can run without more than a level lift. I'd like to go with the lightest/LRR large tire good for all seasons weather conditions. Suggestions?
I've found that with the 20" stock wheels my choices for large tires are more limited.
Tuesday, July 23, 2013 by Larry:
I need to replace all 4 tires on my 2009 Honda Civic Hybrid. The door post label calls for P195/65R15 89S. At present I have Michelin Destiny tires since I could not find the OEM tires when I last replaced them. I'd like to keep my excellent gas milage in the process, which is 43+ MPG over 70,000 miles.

Thank you,

Larry (near Denver, CO)
Wednesday, July 24, 2013 by doc:
Larry,
While we do not have access to any information on the Michelin Destiny tire you referenced, I'd have you look at both the Bridgestone Ecopia EP422 and the Michelin Energy Saver AS as tires that should help you meet your MPG goals
Wednesday, July 24, 2013 by doc:
Cody,
Anything close to the 35" diameter you referenced will anything but light and fuel efficient as nearly everything we stock would be an 8 or ten ply rated all terrain or mud terrain tire. Sorry !
Thursday, July 25, 2013 by Karen:
Recommendation for the best tires for my 2011 Prius. Price and value matter!
Thanks
Thursday, July 25, 2013 by Doc:
Karen,
Assuming a 195/65-15 tire size, the best value for a Low Rolling Resistance tire would be the Continental Pro Contact with Eco Plus Technology . Please call in for current pricing !
Friday, July 26, 2013 by Wendell:
We have a 2011 Honda Insight and replaced the stock Dinlap tires at 33,000 with Yokohama (Avids?) and immediately saw a 5mpg mileage drop. We're looking to replace these and are hoping to get back to the 42 MPG. Any suggestions? Thanks!
Wednesday, July 31, 2013 by doc:
Wendell,
While making no excuses for the Yokohamas, it is very common to see an initial drop in fuel economy with new tires as the old tires (with very little tread depth) were lighter and offered less rolling resistance than a new tire with full tread depth. As the the new tire wears in, you should see modest improvements, but sometimes you have to give up a little MPG to get the tires to actually do a good job of gripping the road.
Monday, August 5, 2013 by michele:
Hi, I'm looking for 4 tires for a 2008 Honda civic hybrid. I'll be driving it to college in the mountains ,So I want to keep my good gas mileage but I need to lower the noise. And add comfort.Can you please tell me the best tire to buy
thanks michele
Tuesday, August 6, 2013 by Doc:
Michele,
I'd recommend both the Michelin Energy Saver AS and the Continental Pure Contact as great options for what you need.
Wednesday, August 14, 2013 by Abdulla:
Hi, Hi, I'm looking for 4 tires for a 2008 FJ cruiser. I'll be driving it on highways mostly,no off-road, my target is to lower the noise. And add comfort.Can you please tell me the best tire to buy
thanks Abdulla
Thursday, August 15, 2013 by Doc:
Abdulla,
Toyota has two tire options for the FJ. In either the 16' or 17" wheels size, consider the Bridgestone Dueler HL Alenza or Continental Cross Contact LX20.
Tuesday, August 20, 2013 by Jesper:
I have a 2012 Nissan Leaf. Which tires do you recommend?
Wednesday, August 21, 2013 by Doc:
Jesper,
In your 205/55R16 size, I'd recommend either the Bridgestone Ecopia EP422 or the Continental Pure Contact as great options.
Thursday, August 29, 2013 by Mike:
Looking for 4 lrr 17" tires for 2010 Prius V. Want good mileage wear, good mpg, less road noise. Any suggestions?
Thursday, August 29, 2013 by Doc:
Mike,
We do not have many LRR tire options in your size, but best ones are the Bridgestone Ecopia EP422 and the Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max
Thursday, September 12, 2013 by Rod:
Need all four new tires for a 2010 Toyota Prius II. I'm looking for the best LRR tires, price is secondary. Thanks!
Friday, September 13, 2013 by Doc:
Rod,
In your 195/65R15 size, we can strongly recommend either the Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max or the Continental Pure Contact.
Wednesday, October 23, 2013 by Frederick W. Frank:
Your recomendation on a LRR Summer tire for my Koni- equipped '03 Corolla, when the 195/60 Hankook Optimo 727s (Quiet, Great cornering) i got from you wear out.. if only Michelin's Pilot Exalto A/S was LRR!
Thursday, October 24, 2013 by Doc:
Frederick,
Assuming you need the 195/65-15 size, both the Bridgestone Ecopia Ep422 and the Michelin Energy Saver tires are good options
Friday, October 25, 2013 by The Jackal:
Looking to get 4 new tires for my 2007 Nissan Altima Hybrid. Any suggestions, Doc?
Friday, November 1, 2013 by Doc:
Jack,
In 215/60R16, I'd recommend the Bridgestone Ecopia EP422 and the Continental Pure Contact with EcoPlus Technology.
Tuesday, November 5, 2013 by DL:
We want to replace the standard 205/45/17 tires and wheels that came with our Coda electric sedan with LRR tires. We have discovered that requires a change to 16 inch wheels and 55 series profile (prob 205/55/16). What do you suggest for the best LRR tires for our EV. We have driven 13K miles the past year. Thanks
Saturday, November 9, 2013 by Julie:
I have a 2011 Prius and am looking to replace the tires. I currently have Goodyear Assurance on. Would you recommend staying with that same brand of tire while dealing with Wisconsin weather?
Monday, November 11, 2013 by Chris:
2010 Prius needs tires. Traction more important to me than gas mileage. Suggestions???
Wednesday, November 13, 2013 by Doc:
DL,
In the 205/55R16 size, our options would include the Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max, the Bridgestone Ecopia EP422 and the Continental Pure Contact with EcoPlus Technology (with the Conti getting the best marks in our most recent test)
Thursday, November 14, 2013 by Doc:
Chris,
Assuming your tire size is 195/65R15, take a look at the Goodyear Assurance Triple Tred AS for best in class snow and wet traction
Monday, May 19, 2014 by Rick:
2009 Subaru Legacy base model. LRR summer only tires. Anything in Sumitomo? (HTR Z II vs. III?)
Tuesday, May 20, 2014 by Felix:
What the best low roll resistance tires for a 2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrid?
Tuesday, May 20, 2014 by Doc:
Rick,
Sumitomo does not offer any LRR technology in either the HTR Z II or Z III, we'd have to have you look at an all season capable tire to have any selection of LRR options.
Tuesday, May 20, 2014 by Doc:
Felix,
Assuming the 215/55R17 size, I'd recommend either the Bridgestone Ecopia EP422 and the Continental Pure Contact with EcoPlus Technology -
Sunday, June 8, 2014 by Felix:
Dear Doc,
Thank you for your tip. I should have asked you the above question a year ago. I am currently using Michellin Defender and the the avarage mpg is less than what listed on the car. What about the Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season Performance Radial Tire?
Tuesday, June 10, 2014 by Doc:
Felix,
While we've not tested the two tires "head to head", our expectation is that the Pirelli should average around 30 mpg of "mixed" use that we found in our most recent test. We've not done any MPG testing on the Defender yet. The fuel economy of a brand new tire will be less than impressive until they wear in.
Friday, June 13, 2014 by Devin:
Dear Doc,
I am currently wanting to replace my 30" tires with 31" to 32" tires. I understand it is not practical to use a large tire if fuel economy is a concern, but I want that tire size because I am lifted. Would like 265/75R16 or 255/80R16, and I know the ladder is a rare find. Could you recommend me a fuel efficient tire? I no longer tow and I do not offroad, I am looking for highway tires.
Friday, June 20, 2014 by doc:
Devin,
Very few truck tire sizes feature a LRR compound, but in 265/75R16 we have the Continental Cross Contact LX20 and the Goodyear Assurance CS Fuelmax as LRR options. I don't have access to any tires in 255/80R16.
Saturday, September 6, 2014 by Pat :
Are the new Michelin premier tires good for a 2010 Prius in rainy Seattle? I would like to preserve good gas mileage. If not, what would you recommend?
Thursday, September 18, 2014 by Doc:
Pat,
In our testing, the Michelin proved to have excellent wet traction. See our test results here: http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tests/testDisplay.jsp?ttid=188&affiliate=FH3
Wednesday, September 24, 2014 by Jason:
Hi there,

2000 Lexus SC300, currently running 235/40ZR/18 95W XL tires. Looking to purchase highest rating tires for best road noise reduction. Money is not an issue. Thanks in advance.
Friday, September 26, 2014 by Doc:
Jason,
Our favorite in your size would be the Michelin Primacy MXM4.
Monday, November 17, 2014 by Barb:
1. Driving a 2005 Toyota Prius. Looking for a quieter ride as well as fuel efficiency which went down after I replaced the OE tires. In southeastern PA area.
2. 3 tires need replacement, 4th is not as old. Should I replace all 4? Thanks.

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